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Hornets at Wolves: Into the Break

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The last game before the All-Star break would be a good one for the Wolves to win

Minnesota Timberwolves v Toronto Raptors Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Hornets at Wolves
7:00 pm CST
FS North

So far in the post-deadline era, the Wolves have beaten a good team at home in a surprising rout, and lost to a good team on the road in a high scoring affair. Tonight they get a poor team at home as their last opponent before the break, and while at this point wins and losses are of questionable importance, it would be nice to get a win tonight before what’s expected to be a good crowd at Target Center as we head into a long week without Wolves basketball.

The crowd will be bolstered by the 2000 fans getting into the building thanks to Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell, who each purchased 1000 tickets to be given away, in addition to the renewed enthusiasm for the team thanks to the bold trade deadline moves.

And really, they need a win to maintain that momentum and head into the break in a good frame of mind. The Hornets are...not good. They are 28th in offensive rating and 26th in defensive rating, and just waived Marvin Williams, a key part of their rotation, along with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

The Hornets get most of their scoring from their back court, with Terry Rozier and surprise break out player Devonte Graham leading the way at nearly 18 points per game each. Neither of them are particularly efficient, though both can get hot from three, so that’s something the Wolves will need to control. It’s an undersized guard tandem that doesn’t defend very well, however, so the Wolves should find some success on the other side of the ball with Russell and Malik Beasley having a clear size advantage.

Perhaps the Hornets most interesting player is rookie P.J. Washington, who is looking like an excellent pick in late lottery. He’s shown good three point range all season, along with good activity defensively.

The Hornets play at the slowest pace in the league, so speeding up the game will be incumbent on the Wolves. They are also the worst defensive rebounding team in the NBA, so second chance points could be a factor.

The Wolves have had no problems scoring points in the first two games since the deadline, showing off improved shooting and overall increased offensive talent. They are concentrating on constructing the best offense they can, hoping some defense will come later. They will look to outscore the Hornets tonight and come up with a win.

LATE NOTE: Karl-Anthony Towns will miss tonight’s game due to a wrist injury that “will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.”

We can’t have nice things.

Expected Lineups

Hornets

Terry Rozier
Devonte Graham
Miles Bridges
P.J. Washington
Cody Zeller

Wolves

D’Angelo Russell
Malik Beasley
Josh Okogie
Juan Hernangomez
James Johnson

Our friends over at At the Hive have the Hornets story.